What is the body of a coffee?

Know what the Body of a Coffee is and how to identify this sensation 

Of course, the choice of the ideal beverage depends on the personal taste of each drinker.

However, six specific characteristics are evaluated in cupping tests:

aroma, taste, acidity, sweetness, body, and aftertaste (or finish).

But do you know what defines the body of a coffee?

Physical and sensorial characteristic: body is the set of tactile sensations the coffee causes in the mouth when the liquid comes into contact with the taste buds. On the tongue, the beverage will be perceived at different levels of power, consistency, more or less “weight”.

How is the body of a coffee developed?

The body of a coffee refers to the solids dissolved in the fermentation and, the sensations that the liquid causes on contact with the taste.

This definition depends of some factors:

  • The 100% Arabica varietal chosen for tasting.
  • Geographical location and terroir of the planting region.
  • The altitude of the plantation.
  • All stages of the production chain (harvest, selection of beans, type of drying).
    The roasting process is one of the stages that most influences the body of the coffee.
  • The preparation method chosen for the drink.

The higher the growing area of a 100% Arabica coffee, the “fuller” or richer the body of a coffee will be!

This happens because the body of a coffee is the result of the greater or lesser presence of chemical compounds that make up the beans. As we know, the high altitude crops are those that produce better quality beans, with more distinctive flavor and sensorial characteristics.

In the cup, part of the oils, acids, proteins and other elements are preserved, and define a fuller-bodied coffee.

What elements define body type?

This refers to the consistency of the beverage, ranging from watery quality to extremely dense full-body buttery, known as syrup.

Body is a measure of the coffee’s viscosity (thickness), which contributes to the richness of the tasting experience.

A coffee with a rich, heavy or whole body is one that has a marked texture. It refers to the presence of fat, protein and fiber in the drink.

This is the consistency of the beverage. In the tasting experience it is a lighter coffee, with little residue, weight or texture.

It is important to note that coffees grown at low altitudes and in poor soils usually result in a lean-body coffee.

A medium body is the result of a middle ground between watery and viscous consistencies.

How to evaluate a coffee’s body

In a tasting analysis, the type of varietal, roasting and preparation method chosen are key factors to evaluate a coffee. This is because only 100% Arabica varieties result in a superior quality coffee.

According to sensory analysis, the body of a coffee can be:

Clear or light

The sensation is close to that of water. Since the drink doesn’t count with the presence of many dissolved solids nor with a pronounced viscosity. It is also called lean coffee.


It is the body that is between the light and the heavy. The natural compounds of the coffee can be strengthened with a longer method of preparation and without paper filter. It can be smoother with faster brewing methods or with the use of filters to retain part of the solids. It is balanced.

Heavy or full

It results in a more powerful tasting experience, since it has the presence of dissolved solids like oils and other natural components of the beans. On the tongue, the coffee with a full body has a strong weight, viscosity and a buttery sensation.

The body evaluation is related to the quality of the coffee?

The body is one of the characteristics used in quality evaluations of a coffee.
However a coffee more or less full-bodied depends on the taste of each one.

The influence of the varietal type, the roasting process and the chosen preparation method are key factors for the evaluation of a coffee. Only 100% Arabica varieties result in a superior quality coffee.
In this way, the consumer will be sure that the product was carefully produced, from the plantation to the cup.

Now that you have learned what the body of coffee is, how about tasting a superior quality 100% Bio Arabica coffee?

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